Monday, March 05, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Press Release re Transport Malta's recommendations
Saturday, November 05, 2011
GUG: Against the Hondoq Reform –Preserving our identity
Many of the Qala residents and even Gozitans from other villages are very fond of this beautiful beach that has for many years remained untouched. Gozitan students strongly believe that we must preserve our environment and our local heritage, which makes part of our identity. Sustainability is an important concept that has been brought up many times in the media and at school but in reality it’s lacking in practice. Before we take such a big step, we must first implement this idea of sustainability and clearly examine all implications it entails. We must consistently keep at heart the environment around us and what makes us who we are and different from the rest.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Press Release in regards new plans excluding the marina
In the face of an overwhelming outcry against the proposed Hondoq project to develop a large hotel and hundreds of real estate units around a yacht marina, the developers of Qala Creek have decided to drop the idea of the marina at Hondoq Bay, limiting themselves to a ‘swimming lagoon’.
The NGOs Moviment Harsien Hondoq, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, FOE Malta, Nature Trust, GUG, Din l-art helwa and Wirt Ghawdex have studied the 2009 EIS Co-ordinated Report where the developers themselves state “the project would struggle if it had to be developed as a stand-alone hotel”. They say that the project is expected to double the 5-star room capacity in Gozo, despite the current demand for five-star hotel properties in Gozo being weak.
The developers stressed the point that increased room capacity (oversupply) is of major concern to the market, and to be successful the hotel needs to be part of an integrated project with features that differentiate it from other hotels, i.e. the marina, thus “the hotel will depend on demand generated by other parts of the project”.
Interestingly, when discussing revenue projections, the 2007 version of the report stated: “The hotel on its own is not commercially viable. It can only succeed and be sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction.”
In the 2009 version this was modified to: “The hotel will be successful and sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction.”
The wording has changed, but the meaning has not. In 2009 the developers themselves did not consider the hotel was viable without the marina, therefore the NGOs fail to understand how the developers can now eliminate the marina and claim that the complex would remain financially viable, as required by the Environment Impact Assessment.
This eleventh-hour submission of new plans shows that the developers are intent on pushing through this venture in complete disregard of the social and environmental impacts of the project, ignoring the fact that the local community and also general public opinion has expressed itself against the project.
The environmental NGOs therefore urge MEPA to refuse such a project and to revert the land to its original designation as a nature park. The Qala Local Council has already looked into the various aspects of creating an environment and heritage park, a project that would draw much-needed tourists to Gozo, and support existing hotels and catering establishments.
Finally we urge readers to let MEPA know what they think of this project by signing the petition below
Press Release dwar l-pjanti l-godda li nehhew l-jott marina
Wara l-oppożizzjoni qawwija kontra l-iżvilupp propost għal Ħondoq ir-Rummien li kien jikkonsisti f'lukanda ta' 5 stilel kif ukoll numru ta' vilel u appartamenti madwar yacht marina, l-iżviluppaturi ta' dan il-proġett qatgħuha li jerġgħu jippreżentaw pjanti ġodda li fihom ineħħu l-yacht marina u minflokha jagħmlu "swimming lagoon".
L-NGOs Moviment Ħarsien Ħondoq, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, FOE Malta, Ramblers Association, NatureTrust, GUG, Din L-Art Ħelwa u Wirt Ghawdex studjaw ir-rapport tal-EIS tal-2009 li fih l-iżviluppaturi jiddikjaraw hekk: "the project would struggle if it had to be developed as a stand-alone hotel". Huma jgħidu wkoll li dan il-proġett kien sa jirdoppja l-kmamar fil-lukandi ta' 5 stilel, minkejja l-fatt li bħalissa d-domanda għal kmamar f'lukandi ta' dan it-tip hija dgħajfa wisq.
L-iżviluppaturi jisħqu li huwa ta' tħassib li jkollok kmamar żejda iktar mid-domanda u għalhekk biex lukanda jkollha suċċess trid tagħmel parti integrali minn proġett imdawwar bi bżonnijiet bħal yacht marina, restaurants eċċ li jagħmluha differenti minn lukandi oħra: " the hotel will depend on demand generated by other parts of the project".
Interessanti l-fatt li meta jiġi biex jiddiskuti d-dħul finanzjarju minn dal-proġett, ir-rapport tal-2007 jgħid: " The hotel on its own is not commercially viable. It can only succeed and be sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction".
Mill-banda l-oħra fir-rapport tat-2009 din ġiet mibdula hekk: "The hotel will be successful and sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The Marina development could act as such an attraction". Minn hawn jidher ċar li l-kliem ġie mibdul iżda t-tifsira baqgħet l-istess. Fl-2009 l-iżviluppaturi nfushom ma qisux il-lukanda vijabbli mingħajr il-marina. Għalhekk l-NGOs ma tistax tgħaddilhom minn moħħhom kif issa l-iżviluppaturi sa jeliminaw il-marina u xorta jsostnu li l-kumpless jibqa' sostenibbli finanzjarjament kif miktub fl-Environment Impact Assessment. Il-ħruġ ta' pjanti ġodda juri biċ-ċar li l-iżviluppaturi għandhom f'moħħhom li jkomplu jagħfsu fuq dan ir-riskju kummerċjali mingħajr ma jagħtu kas tal-impatt soċjali li se jħalli dan il-proġett, minkejja l-fatt li kemm il-kommunita tal-Qala kif ukoll il-pubbliku in ġenerali wrew bil-qawwa kollha li huma kontra dan il-proġett.
Għaldaqstant l-NGOs ambjentalisti jitolbu lill-MEPA biex tirrifjuta dan il-proġett u treġġgħu lura għall-pjan oriġinali ta' 'nature park'. Il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Qala diġa ra l-aspetti kollha kif għandu jkun park naturali. Dan il-proġett għandu jiġbed lejh dawk it-turisti li tant għandu bżonn Għawdex. B'hekk ikun ta' għajnuna għal-lukandi u għall-istabilimenti ta' l-ikel.
Fl-ahharnett inheggu lill-qarrejja sabiex juru lill-MEPA x`jahsbu dwar dan il-projett billi jidhlu f`dan is-sit elettroniku
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Hondoq Press Release re Transport Malta
Moviment Harsien Hondoq together with Qala Local Council, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, Nature Trust, Din L-Art Helwa, FOE Malta, Wirt Ghawdex, Greenhouse Malta, Ghaqda Universita Ghawdxin and Youth for the Environment welcome Transport Malta’s recent recommendation that MEPA should refuse the proposed alternative route to service the application for the building of a yacht marina, hotel and 250 flats and villas at Hondoq ir-Rummien. Common sense has prevailed.
It is indeed heartening to note that just as the Environment Directorate found the EIA biased in favour of the project, Transport Malta also concluded that there are serious shortcomings in the Traffic Impact Statement.
Firstly the traffic count was flawed by way of the location where it was carried out, far out of the Qala village core: in reality the project will generate unacceptable additional traffic in the centre of Qala.
Secondly the proposed traffic scheme for the project was not adequate. This is obvious considering that the objective of TM is “to provide an effective regulatory framework for land transport with road safety as a top priority, whilst at the same time promoting socio-economic development and protection of the environment.”
Moviment Harsien Hondoq and the eNGOs find it hard to imagine that the MEPA Board would ignore the expert advice of these two authorities, specialists in their respective fields, both of whom have recommended a refusal of this project.
The NGOs wish to thank the encouraging numbers who have been supporting the Hondoq cause and also signed up the petition. They ask those who have not yet signed it, to do so without delay at: http://raxerri.com/soshondoq/ in order to express themsleves in favour of Gozo’s natural environment.
Moviment Harsien Hondoq
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Our aim was, is, and will be, to have Hondoq enjoyed by everyone - Save Hondoq
This grant was acquired through the work of the Qala Local Council, with the continuous insistence of Moviment Harsien Hondoq, Flimkien ghall-Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) and various environmental NGO’s.
The movement doesn’t understand how, with a pen`s stroke, without any consultation, the local plan for the Hondoq area was changed from an Outside Development Zone (ODZ) to a development zone. The concerned authority is being asked to revise the decision that was taken in 2006 and give Hondoq the status it once had.
The movement’s aim was, is, and will be, to have Hondoq enjoyed by everyone.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The protests against the project at Hondoq ir-Rummien are justified and deserve backing - Dr. Alfred Sant.
The protests which are being held against he project comprising villas, luxury apartments, a hotel and a yacht marina at Hondoq ir-Rummien,Qala, Gozo, not only are justified, but they deserve the backing of all the Maltese and Gozitan people. This was said, this morning, by the Leader of the Labour Party Dr. Alfred Sant, in a press conference ont he spot, where the project is being proposed, and after, moments before, he met a number of residents and families from the village of Qala, Gozo.
Dr. Sant said that the Nationalist government is proposing a project of villas, luxury apartments, a hotel and a yacht marina at Hondoq ir-Rummien. The Leader of the Malta Labour Party saidm that from the meetings he had with the residents of Qala, it emerges out that the complaints that are being held against this project are justified, valid and strong complaints.
A visit on the spot where this project is being proposed, said Dr. Sant, clearly confirms that this project should not be accomplished becasue it amounts into a harsh speculation of the area which is one of the most beautiful in Malta and Gozo. This place abounds in a large potentiality for tourism and offers rest and a better life for all the Gozitans, Maltese and tourists.
Thus, emphasised Dr. Sant, the project which is being proposed amounts into an exploitation of a priceless land and a speculation on its value, when the villas and the apartments are built. The aim of this project is nothing more than this land be used so that certain people make large amounts of money.
Dr. Sant said the development being proposed at Hondoq ir-Rummien neither is the development Qala and Gozo need, nor the way to generate work. The leader of the Malta Labour party said that it is not true that the project as it is being proposed leads for long sustainable jobs in Gozo.
Amongst the Qala residents with whom the Leader of the Malta Labour party met before the press conference, was Paul Buttigieg, an activist against the project of Hondoq ir-Rummien and Fr. Lawrence Theuma. Both of them explained in detail, to Dr. Sant their objections versus the project. Foreign residents residing in Qala were also present at the press conference.
On behalf of the malta Labour Party, for the press conference, were present the Deputy leader Dr. Michael Falzon, the Secretary General Jason Micallef, the Gozitan M. P. s Anton Refalo and Justyne Caruana, the spokesperson for the ambient Roderick Galdes, the Qala Labour councillers Anthony Camilleri and Ivan Falzon, the Labour candidate Joe Cordina and officials of the Labour District Committee for Gozo.